The South Korean industrial defense base: an emerging global player

Over the last 60 years South Korea experienced a tremendous economical, industrial and technological development. The so-called Land of the Morning Calm has grown from one the poorest country after the Korean to the 11th world economy in terms of GDP. South Korea also developed an impressive industrial and technological defense base, coming from a total dependency on US imports to a total of 3.49 billion USD of defense products exports in 2015. In this analysis, we will attempt to scrutinize the industrial policies and the security context which made this growth possible. Then, we will analyse the KF-X project (4th generation combat aircraft) currently developed jointly by South Korea and Indonesia. This ambitious project represents a crucial test for the South Korean defense industry in terms of securing technology transfer and assembling capabilities.  (Full text in French only)         

(Photo credit: Korean Republic Armed Forces.